Lost Girls (2020)

There are people in life that makes us wonder and worry about how unexpectably your life can change into worse or even stop if you are at the wrong place, the wrong time. How plaguily some people just deside to violate the rights of yours. ‘Lost Girls’ is a grim true-life tale, examining one of the modern era’s most famous unsolved cases and also a story that technically doesn’t have an ending yet. The scenario starts with Amy Ryan (as Mari Gilbert), an Ellenville mother whose life becomes a waking nightmare when her daughter Shannan disappears. It was May of 2010 when Shannan Gilbert simply vanished. The night she’ s gone, Shannan made call to 911 from a distant area miles away from her home begging for help, but the police were there after an hour and she was already missing.

While Amy Ryan and her other two daughters were searching for Shannan, a body was found in a burlap sack, but it wasn’t hers. And neither was the next body found off Ocean Parkway (a close area where Shannan was last seen) in a sack. Or the next. Four bodies were found early in the investigation, hinting at a serial killer in this wealthy part of the country who was killing sex workers and dumping them.
So, as a sex worker who found her clients on Craigslist (the perpetrator was also known as the Craigslist Killer), Shannan was quickly ignored or at least de-prioritised by police, who judged her in the same broad and moralistic way that the media also did at the time. Unwilling to let her daughter’s disappearance become old news, Mari rallies together with the families of women whose bodies have been found and starts to put the pieces together with or without police help. Mari felt extra responsibility because she had once given up Shannan to foster care. She couldn’t give her up again.

Garbus and screenwriter Michael Werwie are showing us an unfortunate case of deadly abuse where we all know it happens but no law enforcer or social media give the appropriate attention. As we can understand from the police’s private conversations, usually prostitutes, are considered expendable. Although, the film is never less than well-intentioned but also realistic as the serial-killer is not found and his identity is unknown till the end the story, just like the real story.
The truth is that as I was watching the movie, I had a lot of questions like -I have no clue what happened to Mari’s husband or -As I can notice, Shannan had nice behavior to her mother and her middle sister, so then why did both had to see or talk to her for so long time as they mention and why all of these secrets between the mother and her daughters? After all, I realized these questions were not in the main matter of the plot. As a drama and true story movie I have to admit that it touched me. It is more easy to make somebody cry, though.


Finally, in the movie it is very frustrating , the incapacity of the police in such a problem as the disappearance of women as sex workers, especially in wealthy neighborhoods. In case you need help, it is more probable a miracle to happen than the police to come and act.

Favourite quotes

  • “Mari: My daughter calls for help and it takes you an hour, but the stepford wives call you and you show up in the amount of time it takes to make a sandwich?”
  • “Woman from Oak Beach: I’ll Call The Police! Mari: Go ahead, it’ll take them an hour to come here.”